Brahms: The Piano Concertos

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JOHANNES BRAHMS
Brahms: The Piano Concertos
Stephen Hough (piano) / Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Mark Wigglesworth

[ Hyperion / 2 CD ]

Release Date: Sunday 15 December 2013

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This attractively priced double set is one of Stephen Hough's most important recordings. 'Britain's greatest living pianist' (The Mail on Sunday) is joined by the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and international conductor Mark Wigglesworth in their Hyperion debut for Brahms's Piano Concertos. These works are among the greatest in the genre, and shore up Brahms's reputation as both a symphonist and a piano composer. Separated by twenty-two years and widely differing in their reception (the first was scorned and the second a huge success), they are monumental in scale, impassioned and truly romantic, forward-looking in form and requiring both great virtuosity and intimacy from the pianist. Stephen Hough has performed them in concert for many years to ecstatic acclaim: this new recording is surely one of his most desirable offerings.

"[Hough's] performances here show his usual thoughtfulness, elegance and brilliance...The reverberations of the entire orchestra are equally slow to die. The conductor Mark Wigglesworth scrupulously prepared his musicians and their medium-weight sound offers the best of both worlds" The Times, 29th November 2013 ****

"The way in which [Hough] and conductor Mark Wigglesworth drive the opening movement of the First Concerto to its conclusion is thrilling physical; at the other extreme, the delicacy of his playing in the finale of the Second, and the lilt he brings to some of its episodes, are delights." (The Guardian)

"I cannot fault Hough's playing: the balance between the sheer virtuosity and the intimacy of this music is perfectly stated. Each concerto has a different mood and palette of emotions. Hough brings a special quality of reflection to these works which for my taste gives a considerable added value." (MusicWeb)

Tracks:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83